I hear many people use the expression, “I like the idea of it more than I actually like it.”
Ponder that for a moment…
What a heartbreaking reality some of us face. I too have found myself thinking this at certain points in my life, and not because what I experienced was in itself bad, but because it’s true that our own perception of reality has the ability to implement our outlook on life.
And this realization is a defining point in a continuous effort to exercise the faith. It proves you have a longing, thirst, and desire for something and you won’t rest until you get it.
It, being the goodness, love, beauty, and power of God.
And nothing but that can satisfy this ache.
If you have had the thought above, rejoice! It is an internal reflection that you came to that says, I am made for more. It is proof that John Paul II was right when he said, “It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; he is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; he is the beauty to which you are so attracted.”
“Our hearts are restless until they rest in you, Lord.” –St. Augustine
I was recently talking with a friend who seemed in despair on a new journey she was readying herself for. Her fears, albeit normal and quite natural, were heartbreaking because she didn’t think God loved her. From my point of view, there was nothing to fear or feel hurt by so I personally couldn’t understand why she didn’t see the beauty of her situation and why she kept dwelling on the hurt.
But, we all do this. We let our hurt be the idea we have on what life is. We let our sadness become a hindrance towards gifting ourselves to the world and others. We let our fears stop us from experiencing beauty. We let our sorrows and the chaos of our personal sufferings stop us from seeing the hand of God in every little thing.
We think God is out to get us, wants us to suffer, and doesn’t love us. Because “if he did, he would give me what I want.” Now, don’t get me wrong, been there, asked that, but [thankfully to the grace of God] my response to myself, and that question is,
“Do you really think that little of God?”
When the disciples were concerned for Jesus and urged Him to eat something on their travels he responded, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about… My food is to do the will of of him who sent me and to complete his work. Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that the sower and reaper may rejoice together.” (John 4:32-36)
So, look around you. Wake up. The beauty, spirit, and wonder of God is ALL around you–your perception just might be the reason you can’t see it. We are all called to come out of ourselves, rise-up, and be transformed, and enlivened by the spirit of our living God. (Oh, look, the resurrection in a nutshell).
Practically, this takes a deep prayer life.
After that, in any situation, decision, or feeling, we should strive to make efforts to not only uproot the cause of our uncertainty, but to ask ourselves and be honest, “why am I feeling this way? What might have I done to stop myself from seeing the beauty that is right in front of me? In what ways am I stopping God from working in me? What virtue should I exercise in this moment? How can I break the chains that are withholding my authentic freedom?”
This is virtuous living. This is human fulfillment. This is the life we were made for.
There’s freedom in surrender and love, happiness, and purpose in letting the God of the universe hold you in His arms and take you deeper into His goodness in this life.
You were made for a purpose and you are loved greater than you will ever know. Own that and never let anything, anyone, or any situation stop you from having the eyes to see that reality. And if you can’t feel that, pray for the grace to understand that and spend some time contemplating that God’s ways are beyond your wildest imagination.
“To infinity and beyond.” –Buzz Lightyear
The fields of your life are ripe for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for you, so that you may rejoice together with God. Allow yourself to feel the depths of His mercy and compassion, and in time, I promise you, (and I’d bet my life on this) you might just like Jesus more than the idea of Him.